the Twelve Apostles (John, the disciple Jesus loved)

John was the brother of the apostle James; he was also the son of Zebedee (a fisherman of Galilee.)  His mother’s name was Salome who is believed to be a sister of Jesus’ mother Mary.

It is said that John owned a home in Jerusalem and that it is possible that the interview Nicodemus had with Jesus was held there.

The apostle John rose to a position of influence within world-wide Christianity and shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, he moved to Ephesus (in modern day, Turkey.)  He became the pastor of the church in Ephesus and had a special relationship with other churches in the area (as we know from the letters to the Seven Churches in Asia, in the book of Revelation.)

John’s brother, James, was the first of the apostles to die; on the other hand, John was the last.  All of the apostles met a violent death, however, John died peacefully in Ephesus (at an advanced age, around the year 100 AD.)

There is a church tradition, which says, that while John was living in Ephesus, John had with him Mary, the mother of Jesus, for a few years.

While in Ephesus, by order of the Roman emperor Domitian, John was exiled to an island called Patmos.  In what is known as the cave of the Apocalypse (located on this island), the sacred text of the book of Revelation was given to the apostle John by Jesus (it is here that John recorded what is written in the New Testament book of Revelation.)

Other New Testament books accredited to John are the Gospel of John, along with 1st, 2nd and 3rd John. When he was released from exile, he returned to Ephesus and lived till the time of the Roman emperor Trajan.

It is said that John, “Founded and built churches throughout all Asia, and worn out by old age, died in the sixty-eight year after our Lord’s passion and was buried near the same city (Ephesus).”

(source http://www.biblepath.com/john1.html )

Yohanes adalah penulis injil yang paling “personal” dengan Yesus, karena dia banyak sekali menceritakan tentang hubungan Yesus dengan orang2, dan ajaran2 Yesus yang dalam, yang tidak ada di injil lainnnya.  Menarik bagiku, dia menyebut dirinya sebagai “murid yang dikasihi Yesus”.  Tidak heran kenapa dia menuliskan banyak tentang kasih di buku 1-3 Yoh.  Membaca buku2 dia, sangat memberikan aku banyak encouragement.  God is Love, dan itulah yang dia betul2 rasakan sendiri dari kebersamaan nya dengan Yesus.  Yohanes mengikuti Yesus hingga di bawah kaki salib, dia adalah satu-satunya murid yang tercatat berada di kaki salib bersama Maria, ibu Yesus.  Yesus menghargai kesetiaan Yohanes dan bahkan meminta Yohanes untuk menjaga Maria. Wow! ini lah sebuah kisah persahabatan yang luar biasa antara Yesus dan Yohanes.

Kasih Tuhan hanya dapat dirasakan dan dinikmati, jika kita punya hubungan personal dengan Tuhan.  Kita bisa mendengar kotbahbahwa “Tuhan itu mengasihi” tapi belum tentu kita pribadi mengalami hal itu.  Siapa Tuhan buat kita pribadi? hanya sebagai pencipta, atau sebagai sahabat kita, yang kita selalu datang kepada Dia, dan kita punya hubungan dengan Dia?  Ada saat2 ketika aku merasa dekat dgn Dia ketika aku konsisten berdoa, membaca Firman, dan melakukan hal2 untuk menyenangkan Dia.  Tetapi ada juga saat ketika aku menjauhkan diri karena berdosa dan tidak fokus.  Aku bisa merasakan perbedaan “kasih Tuhan” dalam 2 waktu yang berbeda itu.  however, perjalanan rohani memang tidak mudah tapi aku tau bahwa ini adalah hal yang terpenting buatku, untuk mengasihi Tuhan dengan segenap hati, pikiran, dan kekuatan. amen

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